Event Recap

A Compelling Conversation with Dr. Bernice A. King: Lawyer, Pastor, and Civil Rights Icon Inspires in the first Compelling Conversation of 2022-23

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and daughter of the Civil Rights Icon, kicked off Bunker Hill Community College’s (BHCC) Compelling Conversations series on Thursday, November 3, offering students, faculty and staff unparalleled insights into her own story and her own unique perspective on the state of Civil Rights today.

The King was joined on stage by BHCC Associate Vice President and Chief Equity and Compliance Officer Nahomi Carlisle, Esq.  

“Change starts with each and every person who is here today,” King told the nearly full auditorium and participants watching live online. “You don’t have to wait for your elected officials or those who lead your institutions. Identify people who are just as concerned with whatever issues you are most concerned about, and organize with them, join with them, create plans and strategies to attack the issues that are facing our nation. Struggle is a never-ending process; freedom is never won--you earn it and win it in each generation.” 

A multi-decade speakers series featuring leaders at the forefront of equity and justice across a spectrum of fields and perspectives, King is the first on-campus Compelling Conversation since the pandemic began in 2020. Her talk—and all Compelling Conversations—are free and open to the public with registration on the BHCC website at bhcc.edu/cc

Other speakers in the 2022-23 Compelling Conversations series include: 

Cleve Jones, LGBTQ+ activist, trailblazer, and author, Ndaba Mandela, grandson of South African President Nelson Mandela and founder of Africa Rising, Sonia Manzano, actress who portrayed Maria on Sesame Street, author and producer, Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, professor and author; and Emmy-Award Winning Co-Anchor of ABC’s Nightline, Juju Chang

“Compelling Conversations is one of Bunker Hill Community College’s most cherished traditions,” said BHCC President Pam Y. Eddinger. “Not only because of the distinguished history and roster of speakers, but because the series gives voice to the concept of cultural wealth, which is a cornerstone of our college culture. It is a concept that is animated by the pursuit of equity by lifting up cultural and community assets that are overlooked and undervalued—one that seeks to turn upside down the common narrative of communities of color and of poverty being defined by deficits. This year’s Compelling Conversations are sure to deepen our thinking and our actions around equity and justice in our college community and beyond.” 

“In this year’s Compelling Conversations, we are amplifying change makers,” said BHCC Associate Vice President and Chief Equity and Compliance Officer Nahomi Carlisle. “True progress and sustainable change takes strong leaders. These conversations are opportunities for future leaders to engage in this marathon for equity and justice—a race that no one wins unless everyone wins. Compelling Conversations looks to the past to see what has worked, looks to our present selves to see what we can do now to effect change and prepare the leaders of tomorrow to continue to pursue equitable outcomes. We want our community to consider ‘What will be my legacy?’ and then equip them to take the steps to fulfill those aspirations.” 

Dr. Bernice A. King is a global thought leader, strategist, solutionist, orator, peace advocate, and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), which was founded by her mother as the official living memorial to the life, work, and legacy of her father. In this position, Bernice continues to advance her parents’ legacy of nonviolent social change through policy, advocacy, research, as well as education & training through the Kingian philosophy of nonviolence, which she re-branded Nonviolence365™️ (NV365). 

Through her work at The King Center, she educates youth and adults around the world about the nonviolent principles and strategies modeled by her parents. Under her leadership, the Center has implemented numerous initiatives reaching over 500,000 people around the world, including the Beloved Community Leadership Academy, Students with King, NV365 Education & Training, and The Beloved Community Talks, a courageous conversations platform about the difficult racial and social justice issues impacting our world. Dr. King led the development of an NV365 certification program for trainers, which provides individuals with the opportunity to teach the NV365 curriculum on behalf of The King Center. She is an instructor for the program and a trainer. 

The next Compelling Conversation, with LGBTQ+ trailblazer and best-selling author Cleve Jones, will be held online on December 1 at 6 p.m. More information and free registration is available at bhcc.edu/cc.  

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